Business
Expand women's access to financial services, EAC toldPublish Date: May 20, 2014
Expand women's access to financial services, EAC told
  • mail
  • img
A woman takes her cassava to the market
newvision

By Patrick Jaramogi

The East African partner states need to harmonise laws that increase access of credit to women, activists have said.


Women entrepreneurs from Kenya and Uganda operating small, medium and large scale enterprises observed that despite the formulation of the East African Common Market protocol, laws, regulations and practices that hinder women access to financial assistance are still present.

The women under the Women and Girls Empowerment project (WOGE) echoed their concerns during an advocacy meeting organised by the East African sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) at the Blue York Hotel in Busia recently.

EASSI is a regional civil society organisation advocating for effective mechanisms for the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality.

Fridah Oyugah, the chairperson Wamama pamoja (Funyula) Samia group, noted that many women operating along the borders have been empowered, but added that more sensitisation is needed.

A woman working at a stone quarry for a living

She said although the regional governments have eased movement across borders, a lot still needs to be done to promote free movement of people and goods

“As women cross border traders, we still face hurdles while crossing with our merchandise. Issues of clearance at the customs border point still dog the process,” she said.

Oyugah observed that despite the customs union and common market protocol, the borders in Busia and Malaba are always congested due bureaucratic clearing procedures.

“It is such procedures that force many cross border women to engage in smuggling,” she observed. Mwajuma Bahati Toloyi from Nambale constituency in Nambale town said the process of empowering women in business is encumbered by the tedious paperwork that is required.

“EASSI has done its best to empower women, but the EAC states need to do more for women to benefit from the EAC common market protocol,” she said.

Kenya deputy commissioner Valentine Cherono urged the cross border women traders to be vigilant when doing business.

“As we trade, we need to be aware of security because with - out security we cannot have peace,” she said.

She urged Kenyans customs officers at the border to handle foreigners with care.

“Busia is the face of Kenya. The number of visitors we get from Uganda, South Sudan and DRC will be determined by the way you treat them when they enter through Busia,” she noted.

Busia resident district commissioner Hussein Batanda noted that empowering women is the main way of ad - dressing poverty at the house - hold level.

“The Government will continue to work with organisations such as EASSI that empower women and girls. Once we empower the women, who contribute 65% of production, then poverty will be eradicated,” he said.

EASSI executive director Marren Bukachi said the project has helped over 1,200 women form groups to have a collective voice.

“The women now have practical skills to do business. They have been empowered to produce, and we are now helping them get market access in the region,” Bukachi said.

Elizabeth Ampairwe the EASSI WOGE coordinator, said over 6,000 rural women from the border districts of Busia, Rakai and Kabale will be financially empowered with funds from the Netherlands government in the next four years.

RELATED ARTICLES

Rural women get business development tips

First women’s commercial bank launched in Uganda

Kiyindi women add value to ‘mukene’

University for women key to Africa agriculture
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Ethiopia connects Uganda to South Sudan
Traders and other organizations transacting business in South Sudan beaming with smiles of satisfaction after Ethiopian Airlines being granted permission to operate direct flights between Entebbe to Juba that are set to start next week....
Microsoft profit hurt by Nokia, but revenues jump
Microsoft has said its profits have taken a hit from its newly acquired Nokia phone division but that revenues have got a strong lift from cloud services....
UIA partners with UNRA to develop roads in industrial parks
SINCE opting for the private sector-led growth strategy to spearhead the attainment of Uganda’s growth and development aspirations, the government has, beyond its traditional policy and regulatory role...
Entrepreneurs’ bus comes to Uganda and East Africa
Entrepreneurs’ bus comes to Uganda and East Africa By Billy Rwothungeyo The AMPION Venture Bus this year makes its debut in Uganda and the other East African countries of Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania....
Businesses cautioned on cyber- crime rise in Uganda
Three Police disciplinary units are in Rwenzori region in western Uganda to hear cases of security personnel accused of poor response to the July 5 attacks that claimed at least 92 lives in Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kasese districts....
Makerere University kitchen staff demand sh2.5b terminal benefits
Makerere University kitchen staff, recently redeployed to other departments by the administration, have petitioned court demanding sh2.5b terminal benefits....
Should government review powers of kings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter